Fats and proteins that are suitable for the keto diet can be found in peanuts, and many consider them to be yummy. However, peanuts contain carbohydrates and they are not really classified as a nut. Being a legume is the reason why they have more carbohydrates than other nuts which are ok to consume while on a ketogenic diet.
So are peanuts truly keto-friendly? The short answer is, they can be. In this piece, we will explore the carbohydrates, nourishment, advantages, and potential risks of consuming peanuts while following a ketogenic diet.
Peanuts on Keto
Are peanuts a cost-effective snack, full of fat, and delicious to eat, but can they be consumed while following the ketogenic diet? When looking into consuming peanuts while adhering to a ketogenic diet, it is important to note that keto is a style of nutrition that is high in fat, low in carbs, and composed of a moderate amount of protein.
A ketogenic diet means tracking your macros so they provide:
- 70-80% of calories from fat
- 15-30% calories from protein
- 0-10% calories from carbohydrate
When we analyze the nutrient composition of peanuts, we find that they’re perfect for a ketogenic diet. But this is only one part of the story. Peanuts possess plant toxins, antinutrients, and omega-6 fatty acids with a tendency to cause inflammation, a subject which will be discussed in greater detail later.
Carbs in Peanuts
Despite being of relatively low carb value, peanuts are still higher in carbohydrates than other keto-friendly nuts.
If you are meant to have no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a day, about half of that could come from a ? cup portion of peanuts. Therefore, it is advised that peanuts be eaten in reasonable amounts when following the ketogenic diet.
Omega 3 to Omega 6 Ratio in Peanuts
Peanuts contain a notable amount of fat, which is beneficial for those following a ketogenic diet. A notable amount of this is a certain kind of fat referred to as omega-6. And their not balanced out with omega-3’s.
It is a problem due to the fact that humans have evolved on a diet with a balance of one part omega-3 and one part omega-6. Our bodies are capable of utilizing the fat we consume in many different ways.
Omega-3’s are generally anti-inflammatory, while omega-6’s have inflammatory properties. The Standard American Diet is largely made up of vegetable and nut oils, creating a highly imbalanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, with an overwhelming amount of omega-6s at a rate of 16 to 1.
Research has demonstrated that the exceedingly large amount of omega-6 fatty acids has a connection to the inflammatory illnesses that are the root cause of the most fatalities around the world. Chronic inflammation is the underlying cause of various medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple types of cancer, mental disorders, and depression.
It would be wise to balance out your intake of high omega-6 nuts such as peanuts and almonds by incorporating more high omega-3 food items into your diet, such as seafood, fish, and omega-3 rich superfoods like salmon roe.
If you prevent animal products from your diet, chia seeds are one of the few vegetables that provide an elevated omega 3:6 ratio of 3 to 1 on a keto vegetarian or vegan diet. Omega 3:6 fatty-acids per 1 cup serving.
Peanuts are incredibly nutritious, providing a great source of monounsaturated fats, complete proteins, B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. These all help to boost the immune system, protect the heart, and are packed with antioxidants.
Benefits of Peanuts on Keto
The potential advantages that peanuts could have on a ketogenic diet are due to some of the highest concentrations of nutrients that they contain. Let’s examine these fundamental nutrients in more detail and the advantages they bring to your body.
Biotin in Peanuts
Biotin serves as a major factor in changing food into energy. It is noteworthy that Vitamin A plays a role in hair growth, eye health, brain activity, and liver performance, in addition to enabling skin healthiness and contributing to a successful pregnancy.
Biotin, being water-soluble, is not able to be stored by the body in fat. You have to consistently obtain it through the food you consume. Peanuts are a great food to include in your diet, providing 100 grams with 18 mcg, which is equal to 60 percent of the recommended daily value.
Copper in Peanuts
Standard American Diets are often low in copper. A lack of copper can have a significant impact on one’s health, particularly in regards to heart problems.
Though rarely highlighted, copper is a key nutrient for important functions including:
- Heart rate and blood pressure regulation
- Production of red blood cells
- Your body’s ability to absorb iron
- Protecting against prostate inflammation
- Maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and vital organs including your brain and heart
- Immune system activation
Niacin in Peanuts
AKA vitamin B3, niacin along with regular movement practices like yoga, cycling, swimming, and walking has been shown effective in:
- reducing the risk of successive heart attacks in people who have already had one
- Preventing cholesterol and fats from building up in blood vessels
- Reducing triglycerides
- Lowering cholesterol
Vitamin E in Peanuts on Keto
Peanuts are abundant in Vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant. People on a ketogenic diet are rarely deficient in fat-soluble vitamins. And you don’t need to supplement.
The primary purpose of Vitamin E is to guard against cell destruction caused by oxidation. Research has revealed that Vitamin E can contribute to sustaining a functioning immune system and safeguarding against cancer and particular forms of heart disease.
Peanuts on Keto Can Boost Weight Loss
Many individuals often utilize the keto diet to aid in their weight loss goals, and peanuts can be useful in this regard. Investigations have demonstrated that peanuts can help to reduce body weight by causing you to feel satiated more quickly. Studies have demonstrated that their satisfying power influences individuals to eat less of other dietary items.
Studies have demonstrated that eating peanuts can promote a higher metabolism since they contain numerous monounsaturated fats and protein together.
Peanuts and Heart health
It has been observed many times that eating nuts and peanuts can guard against heart disease.
The potential advantages to cardiovascular health possibly come from the nutrients in peanuts like magnesium, B vitamins, copper, and antioxidants that we mentioned earlier.
Possible Dangers of Peanuts on Keto
Although peanuts may be advantageous when following the keto diet, there may also be a few disadvantages to take into thought. We saw that there is a surplus of omega-6’s, which can be a contributing factor to inflammation. While other dangers are linked to:
- antinutrients and plant-toxins
- contamination with toxic molds
Antinutrients in Peanuts
Peanuts are not a nut, they’re a legume! Legumes are various types of plants that are full of toxins and components that are not helpful for nutrition. Plants use naturally-produced insecticides and minerals binding proteins in order to remain viable, but these compounds can have an adverse impact on human health.
Therefore, it is not suggested that people with conditions such as leaky gut eat peanuts and they are not allowed on a lectin-free diet.
Peanut allergies have increased significantly in recent years. The JAMA recently reported findings that the amount of kids affected with peanut allergies has tripled in the last twenty years.
People who have allergies to peanuts may experience a heightened reaction from the immune system, which may cause the development of hives, sneezing, difficulty breathing, itching, swelling, and severe digestive discomfort.
Additionally, peanut hypersensitivity is the major aliment associated with anaphylaxis, a potentially lethal answer depicted by tightness in the throat, breathlessness, sudden fall in blood pressure, faintness that can cause unconsciousness.
Epinephrine must be injected right away in the case of an anaphylactic reaction and medical attention should be sought out immediately at the closest hospital emergency room.
People with peanut allergies should definitely stay away from ingesting peanuts, as well as products that may have had contact with peanuts while they were being handled during production.
Peanuts have been the subject of unfavorable attention for containing aflatoxin, a poisonous substance that is generated by the fungus Aspergillus that frequently appears on peanuts. Aflatoxin can be discovered in other types of agricultural produce, such as corn, grains, and tree nuts.
Small levels of aflatoxin are unlikely to cause harm. At more advanced levels, it is possible to experience aflatoxin poisoning, which can result in liver damage.
The possibility of aflatoxin being present is dependent upon how peanuts are kept. It’s also much more common in warm, humid environments. A study determined that after roasting and transforming peanuts into peanut butter, the amount of aflatoxin decreased by almost 90%.
Some countries in Africa and Latin America have recorded high amounts of aflatoxin in peanuts, while other governments are very stringent in restricting the concentrations of aflatoxin in peanut butter and other peanut items.
Phytic acid can be discovered in a range of plant items, such as nuts, seeds, peanuts, beans, and cereals. Phytic acid has the ability to stop the body from taking in specific minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc.
Generally speaking, your body is able to counterbalance high intake of phytic acid in typical circumstances.
A research involving women with little stores of iron but not anemic showed that eating a high-phytate diet for eight weeks was able to enhance iron levels more than eating a low-phytate diet for the same duration.
In addition, consuming an adequate diet that features meat, fish, and other types of animal protein helps reduce any worries about a lack of proper absorption of minerals due to phytic acid. Those who do not eat meat should be more in tune with the level of phytic acid they take in.
Studies conducted on animals have led to the conclusion that phytic acid may act as a preventative measure for cancer and other illnesses.
Peanut agglutinin is a kind of lectin, which is a type of protein observed in plants that is capable of attaching itself to cell walls. Lectins help plants defend themselves against insects and pests.
Humans have trouble digesting lectins, so their bodies create antibodies to them. In individuals who are at risk, especially those that have an autoimmune disorder, a strong immune response could cause an intensification of their symptoms.
The reaction of someone to lectins is based upon the kind, how much is eaten, and how they react to it. An example of this would be that the agglutinin within kidney beans can lead to extremely serious food poisoning if the beans are uncooked or undercooked.
Despite this, raw peanuts do not present the same kind of hazard with regards to lectin. Peanut lectins are present at a level that is lower than that of the lectins found in beans.
Some scientists think that lectins derived from peanuts have caused the development of atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty substances in arteries) when animals such as rabbits and rodents are given high-cholesterol diets with the addition of peanut oil.
It is essential to note that while there is no comparable human experiment available, it has been suggested that a moderate intake of peanuts may be beneficial for heart health according to a number of investigations.
Studies have been conducted using both cancer cell lines and animals that draw a correlation between peanut lectins and the growth of cancer.
A team of researchers in 2014 posited that those with cancer might experience a more hurried progression of their tumors if they consume peanuts, upping the possibility of them expiring from the sickness.
Due to this, individuals dealing with cancer are advised to either completely eliminate peanuts from their diet or only infrequently consume them.
People without cancer might find it beneficial to consume peanuts now and then. Investigations have indicated that peanuts and peanut butter can potentially safeguard people from getting certain types of cancer, such as breast, cervical, esophageal, and gastric cancer.
High Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio
Although peanuts have a lot more monounsaturated fat than saturated or polyunsaturated fat, their relative amount of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid is excessively high. Many varieties of tree nuts have a high proportion of omega-6 fatty acids in relation to omega-3, although none are as drastic as the ratio found in peanuts.
If you eat a range of foods with a lot of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, flaxseed, and chia seeds, having a small number of peanuts should not harm your general omega-6 to omega-3 proportion.
Peanuts Are Easy to Overeat
It should also be noted that, as is the case with nuts, seeds, and rich dairy products, some people may consume too much peanuts or peanut butter unintentionally. If it’s hard to moderate your consumption of these foods, it’s likely better to abstain from them completely.
Making the Healthiest Peanut Choices
It is up to you if you wish to consume peanuts, depending on how well your body can tolerate them and your overall health. If you do decide to eat peanuts, here are some ways you can reduce their potentially negative side effects:
Soak, Boil, or Roast Your Peanuts
Saturating particular pulses can diminish their phytic corrosive substance as much as 50%, nonetheless the amount to which this happens in peanuts is indeterminate.
Heating peanuts through boiling, roasting, or some other process can decrease the amount of lectins present. Furthermore, soaking and/or boiling peanuts can make them easier to process and lessen the chances of causing gastro intestinal distress or any other issues.
Opt for Organic Whenever Possible
Choose organic peanut butter and peanuts that have been grown in their natural environment in order to avoid the presence of pesticides or any other materials which might be hazardous.
Keep Peanut Consumption Moderate
It has been found that eating up to two ounces (7 to 56 grams) of peanuts a day can cause positive health improvements. It is uncertain how much peanuts one can safely consume due to the variance in people’s tolerance to the food, yet it is likely not safe to eat excessive amounts of the nut.